From Sixty to Zero

Like birds flying aloft,
    so the Lord of heavenly forces will shield Jerusalem:
    shielding and saving, sparing and rescuing. Isaiah31:5

Some think that if they have a big car that goes “Froom, Froom,” they are more powerful than others.  Until the final years of the 19th century, people still used horses to get around.  In fact, the energy of a car is measured in how much “horsepower” it has.  Some cars have lots of “horses” inside!

    The people of ancient Egypt had powerful horses that pulled chariots.  God warns his people not to trust in that kind of power.  God is much stronger than all that.

Sometimes the power of a car is shown in how long it takes to go from zero to sixty miles an hour.  For some cars, it’s just a matter of about ten seconds. But the power of God is shown not when we move fast, but when we slow down.  So, how long will it take you to go from “sixty to zero”? When you stop, then God has a chance to show his power in you.

 Isaiah 31:1-5

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

Trusting in You, Lord, alone v. 1
Faithful in Your promises v. 2
You protecting all the time v. 5
You, my God, are first of all. 

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Which Will You Choose?

Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what belongs to me?
Or are you resentful because I’m generous? Matthew 20:16

What makes a joke funny is the final sentence called the “punchline.”  The parts of the joke all come together and there’s a burst of laughter.

In today’s reading Jesus isn’t telling a joke, but there is still a punchline.  It’s a great story about whether to feel angry or happy when someone receives a very generous gift—more than we receive. See if you can find where Jesus’ punchline is in the story.

You’ll probably feel pulled in two directions—either to be angry or happy at the end of the story.  This  will depend upon which way you choose to let your mind and heart go.  We get to feel by how we think. If you think only about yourself, you’ll tend to be angry; if you think, “How good it is,” when others receive blessings, you’ll be happy.  The choice is yours!

Matthew 20:1–16

Examples of Bible Breaths Learn More…

Grateful for others’ blessings v. 11
Joy in being generous v. 15
First is last and last is first. v. 16
Going inward; finding peace

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Lectionary,
We read from the Gospel of Matthew.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Rosh Hashana

The term Rosh Hashana means the head (rosh) of the year (hashana). We interrupt the regular flow of readings from the Torah on Saturdays to celebrate the Jewish New Year.  If the sky is clear, you’ll see a thin crescent moon in the evening sky.   A leader in the local synagogue will take the shofar, a hollowed out ram’s horn, and blow strongly into it, making a loud horn-like sound that flows across the land.  This announces to everyone that the new year has begun.  The Jewish day begins at sundown.

   The secular New Year on January 1 has noisemakers too, like kazoos.  But the sound of the shofar is much different, summoning us, not to extravagant partying, but rather to an inward quietness.  Along with our Jewish sisters and brothers, we enter a time of reflection, prayer and deep thinking about one’s purpose in life. The question for you, for me and everyone is this: how are we living up to the purposes that God has for having created us? 

    The reading is about the birth of Isaac. It is piously believed that the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were born on the first day of the new year.

Greet your Jewish friends with the wish that they all give to each other on this day. L’shanah tovah tikateivu:“May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year.”

 Genesis 21

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy that are read each year beginning with autumn.

These Firestarters are for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.